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Let’s not be as shortsighted on pensions as on drought

Special to The Bee

It wasn’t long ago that some armchair experts, basing their opinions on data from the previous 10 years, were predicting California’s drought would extend indefinitely.

The short-term numbers were difficult to dispute and there were severe shortfalls in reservoirs. The longer view, however, showed that there had been similar droughts that came and went. Blessedly, so did this one after last winter, one of the wettest seasons on record. 

Opinion: CalPERS pensions are just fine, thank you very much


The attack on pension changes passed by a bipartisan vote of the Legislature and signed by  Governor Brown (Dan Borenstein, Feb. 2)  was exactly like each of the few Lotto tickets I’ve ever purchased: Wrong across the board.

Dave Low: Reed's state pension reform measure would be financial disaster

By Dave Low

Backers of an effort to slash the retirement of public servants got a stiff dose of reality this month when leaders of the state's top public investment funds raised red flags about the plan that could be headed for the 2016 ballot.

They said the latest proposal on public pensions from former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio and former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed would undermine decades of labor law and collective bargaining precedent and threaten retirement security for tens of thousands of working families.

Why Pension Measure is in Trouble

by Steven Maviglio
August 17, 2015

To no one’s surprise, the backers of the measure to slash retirement security for millions of California’s public servants are squealing about the title and summary issued by Attorney General Kamala Harris last week.

Reed described it as “inaccurate and misleading.” Which is nearly identical what he said two years ago when Harris issued a similar review of the initiative. (Reed challenged the Attorney General in Court during the last go-round. He lost.)

Count the bad ideas in California pension overhaul proposal

by Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times

Along with taxation and immigration, one political issue that never seems to go away is the cost of public employees, especially their pensions.

Public retirement plans are consistently blamed for local and state budget woes. Any time a community runs into fiscal trouble, its workers are among the first to be demonized, and often bear the brunt of the remedies. After all, pension obligations are typically among the largest liabilities any government entity must bear, so why not hack away?

Statement of Dave Low, Chairman, Californians for Retirement Security, on Attorney General's Title & Summary of DeMaio/Reed Pension Measure

We strongly disagree with the Attorney General's elimination of the specific mention of teachers, nurses, police and firefighters in the title and summary. They are the bulk of the public servants whose retirement security and death and disability benefits would be abolished by this heavy-handed measure. The inclusion of these professions in a previous version of this measure had already passed legal muster, even after multiple appeals by Chuck Reed.

CalPERS to Bonta: DeMaio/Reed Pension Measure Would Eliminate Retirement Security for Both Existing and Future Public Servants

SACRAMENTO - The proposed ballot measure authored by former San Diego City Council member Carl DeMaio and former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed would eliminate constitutional protections for the retirement security of both existing and future public servants, according to a letter to Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Chair of the California Assembly's Committee on Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security.